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006 How have you beaten the odds?

I suppose that I have beaten the odds, and in the most basic sense. I have seen so many dead.

It is expected that the active Watcher is likely to outlive his Slayer. We are educated to that effect. It does not always happen, but one usually outlives the other. The war that we wage is deadly dangerous, after all.

Buffy had outlived her first Watcher when she was put in my charge but the odds are that the Watcher will outlive his Slayer. We are usually withdrawn from field work, after that, although not all Watchers find the experience so traumatic that they find some way to withdraw from the cutting edge of operations.

Buffy had died twice at the point when I left Sunnydale. She was saved by friends of her own age on both occasions. My decision was not a form of desertion. She had a fully functional support system and I was needed elsewhere. I suppose we both “beat the odds” – but twice is enough. She is no longer the Slayer. I am no longer …

Oh for the good lord’s sake! The Watchers’ Council died! Death upon death. My contemporaries - even those whom I thought would be my successors – all of them!

I am not old. Not really old. Not by the standards of the outside world, where my life would be the stuff of stories if it was generally known. I remember that the phrase, “We did not evolve to outlive our children” was much in my mind, earlier. For me, it is almost as if I have outlived even my own generation.

I suppose I have beaten the odds there, too, in a way. For a man of my age and class, statistically, I should probably be a grand parent, worrying about the mortgage, about “negative equity” and investments; I might even be concerned about garden pests or a car – or, if my worldview had remained reasonably wide (as I believe it would have done) I might have been worried about global warming and perhaps biofuels.

I wonder what I could have done about those problems? I wonder if I would have been lonely?

Muse; Rupert Giles.
Fandom; BTVS
Words, 339
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January 2011


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